Thomas Hardy Quotes

Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Snow in the Suburbs (l. 5-6). . . The Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy. James Gibson, ed. (1978) Macmillan.
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That man's silence is wonderful to listen to.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Spinks, in Under the Greenwood Tree, pt. 2, ch. 5 (1872). Some editions have the variation: "That man's dumbness is wonderful to listen to."
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My argument is that War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. "Spirit Sinister," in The Dynasts, pt. 1, act 2, sc. 5 (1904).
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Once victim, always victim—that's the law!
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess, in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. 47 (1891).
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All these young souls were passengers in the Durbeyfield ship—entirely dependent on the judgment of the two Durbeyfield adults for their pleasures, their necessities, their health, even their existence. If the heads of the Durbeyfield household chose to sail into difficulty, disaster, starvation, disease, degradation, death, thither were these half-dozen little captives under their hatches compelled to sail with them—six helpless creatures, who had never been asked if they wished for life on any terms, much less if they wished for it on such hard conditions as were involved in being of the shiftless house of Durbeyfield. Some people would like to know whence the poet whose philosophy is in these days deemed as profound and trustworthy as his song is breezy and pure, gets his authority for speaking of "Nature's holy plan."
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. III (1891).
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"Justice" was done, and the President of the Immortals, in Æschylean phrase, had ended his sport with Tess. And the d'Urberville knights and dames slept on in their tombs unknowing. The two speechless gazers bent themselves down to the earth, as if in prayer, and remained thus a long time, absolutely motionless: the flag continued to wave silently. As soon as they had strength they arose, joined hands again, and went on. The End
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. LIX (1891).
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That cold accretion called the world, which, so terrible in the mass, is so unformidable, even pitiable, in its units.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. 13 (1891).
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Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. 43 (1891).
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[T]hat moment of evening when the light and the darkness are so evenly balanced that the constraint of day and the suspense of night neutralize each other, leaving absolute mental liberty. It is then that the plight of being alive becomes attenuated to its least possible dimensions.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. 13 (1891).
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Why it was that upon this beautiful feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow as yet, there should have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive; why so often the coarse appropriates the finer thus, the wrong man the woman, the wrong women the man, many years of analytical philosophy have failed to explain to our sense of order.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. XI (1892).
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